Managing Director: Job Description & Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a managing director. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and necessary work experience to find out if this is the career for you.

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Managing directors work in a variety of industries, including companies and enterprises, restaurants, brokerage firms and government. A bachelor's degree in business administration or related subject is required, while some companies prefer that managing directors hold a master's degree.

Essential Information

A managing director is a senior-level executive that generally focuses on business development, employee recruitment, and client retention. These professionals are employed in a wide variety of industries. Managing directors generally have bachelor's or master's degrees in addition to significant work experience in their chosen fields.

Required Education Bachelor's or master's degree in business administration or subject related to their industry
Other Requirements Significant work experience relevant to specific industry often preferred
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 6% for all top executives
Median Salary (2015)* $98,560 for all management occupations

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Job Description of a Managing Director

Managing directors work with other top-tier executives to oversee the operations of companies and organizations across a variety of industries, such as banking, healthcare, marketing, advertising, information technology, and government. They may establish new business contacts, interact with clients, and recruit employees. Managing directors might develop strategic marketing and sales plans to boost profits and efficiency. They may also coordinate the efforts of various departments, such as legal, finance, marketing, and sales, to meet company goals. Some managing directors oversee other managers or department heads, and they often report to top executives and boards of directors.

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Managing Director Requirements

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that top executives typically hold undergraduate or graduate degrees in business administration or another specialized field relevant to the industries in which they work ( December 2014 job postings for managing directors on and noted that employers usually require applicants to hold at least bachelor's degrees, though some employers prefer candidates with master's degrees. Additionally, employers often require technical expertise and experience relevant to their specific company or industry.

Essential Skills

The BLS indicates that managing directors and other top executives are effective communicators with excellent leadership skills, management experience and the ability to motivate employees. Additionally, managing directors must be results oriented and creative in addition to having strong business-development skills and the ability to interact with clients, staff and senior management. and job postings often cite the need for managing directors who are able to supervise and build teams, delegate responsibility and develop employee talents.

Career Outlook and Salary

The BLS predicted a 6% job growth for top executives over the 2014-2024 period. In 2015, the BLS stated that the median annual income for all management occupations was $98,560. Salaries also vary by industry, and incentives such as yearly bonuses may significantly impact annual compensation. reports that most managing directors in sales and marketing, for instance, earned between $40,279 and $191,769 as of January 2016. However, managing directors working in private investment services earned between $110,331 and $340,812, per reports, also from January 2016.

Knowing the education and work experience required to become a managing director is a good first step in considering if this is the right career choice for you. It's also important to have an idea as to which industry you would like to enter, so that you can gain relevant work experience.

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